(NaturalNews) With her image blurred and identity shared only as "Mary," a 58-year-old woman told NBC Today about her serious struggles with food during a segment called, "Secret Struggle: Addicted to Food". However, her issue is unlike many people who often crave some extra potato chips on occasion or indulge in another bowl of ice cream.
Instead, Mary says her relationship with food is "a 24-hour obsession," explaining that the worse she felt, the more she'd eat. For Mary, eating "more" meant consuming several super-sized fries in addition to numerous fast food burgers . . . in one sitting. In a similar fashion, another food addict shared his story on the segment, saying, "Everyone says to take it one day at a time . . . I like to think about it as one convenience store at a time."
The severity behind food addictions
Indeed, the addiction to food is a real issue, despite the social stigma that eating disorder expert Dr. Ira Sacker says involves thoughts of obese people as having a lack of willpower. He explains that people jump to conclusions about overweight people, overlooking the fact that food addiction is a disease in which a person constantly thinks about food, is unable to control cravings and plans binges, including ones that may involve eating in secrecy. "Food addictions," Dr. Sacker says, "begins as disordered eating and as it gets worse, becomes an eating disorder."
Using a recovery approach based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is an international recovery program that aims to help people with their food obsessions so they can live healthier lives. They describe food addiction as "an illness of the mind, body, and spirit for which there is no cure" and have steps in place to help others address every level of their particular food issue. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, research has linked junk food addiction to being just as serious as drug addiction. In fact, brain imaging scans have shown that the changes in brain circuitry are the same in drug addicts as they are in obese individuals.
Ramani Durvasula, PhD, Professor of Psychology at California State University in Los Angeles is also a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her advice for those struggling with food addictions is to seek the help of health care providers, mental health practitioners, and to consider group therapy, all of which can address the emotional issues that are often at the root of such disordered behaviors.
About the author: A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.